• Katrina Bartlam

What to Wear to an Engagement Shoot


I love engagement shoots, or pre-wedding shoots, or couple shoots, or whatever you want to call them. You know, a shoot with you and your partner that isn't on your wedding day. I love the fact that I get to spend time with a couple and really capture the essence of them, when they aren't in all their wedding regalia but in clothes and a location that is truly...them. I love that I get to spend time with them and we can really get to know each other before the wedding day. I love that I can make these shoots really special for the couple, not particularly because of anything that I do, simply because I make sure that we choose a location that they love and that I know is beautiful, that I make sure that we are there when the light is beautiful and soft and most importantly that the 2 of you have plenty of time to just be...to be together, to spend time with each other, to think about your wedding day that will soon be here. When you have the time and the space to just relax with each other and when the location and the light is beautiful magic happens.

I want to make sure that when you look back on these photos in years to come you think 'yes, that is exactly what we used to be like', and for those memories to be framed in the most beautiful surrounding possible. To create those beautiful surroundings I look for a gorgeous location, calculate when the light will work best here and I also think that clothing can really make a difference in these photos. I know that lots of people aren't sure what is best to wear on an engagement shoot, so this is a little guide with some of my hints and tips.

1) Be comfortable. I cannot emphasize this enough! If you aren't comfortable you won't relax and it is really important to me that you are totally relaxed on these shoots.

2) Dress for the location. Most of my shoots tend to be outdoors in nature as that is what I love and what most of my clients love, but there are a LOT of different variations on this. It could be the beach, it could be hiking on a mountain trail, it could be a meander and picnic by the river. Whatever we choose make sure that you dress for that location. If we're going for a chilled out beach sessions then shorts and t-shirt will work fine. If you'd like a stroll and a glass of a wine by a river then a dress and shirt can work. If we're going for a walk through some woods then there's no reason that you can't rock a boho dress and bare feet. Your outfit should enhance the location we are in and it goes without saying that shoes should too. If you are most comfortable in heels then definitely go for it, but it's probably best that we don't go hiking! I personally love bare feet and will always be the one to encourage you to get rid of any socks and shoes you are wearing!

3) Co-ordinate but don't match. Please don't wear matching breton strips or anything! It will just look cringey, but do just make sure that your outfits compliment each other. If one of you is wearing a shirt and tie and the other is in denim shorts and a vest then it will look a little odd. Similarly with colours just make sure that they compliment each other, don't go for a yellow t-shirt on one of you and a bright pink dress on the other.

4) Muted colour tones. I definitely don't want to make any of your wear colours that you don't like. But I'm guessing that you've booked me because you like my photography style and my style suits a slightly more muted colour palette. I take a lot of my inspiration from film photography which really suits these tones and it also compliments a lighter look well. So you can take any colour you like but have a more muted version of it, rather than bright yellow a sandy / mustard yellow, rather than lime green a khaki green, you get the idea.

5) Accessorise and layer. This is a great way to make an outfit really personalised to you - scarves, hats, jewellery - it all adds interest to a photo and also is a way to reflect your style and personality on your outfit.

6) Hair and make up. I bring this up simply because I want you to do whatever you need to do to feel the best you can. If you've put time and effort into your hair and you feel like you look the best version of yourself then I can guarantee that you will relax more in the photos. Similarly, if you feel real really uncomfortable wearing make up then don't suddenly layer it on for this shoot. Just a little to accentuate your best features but keep it really bare and simple otherwise and that way you won't suddenly feel like you can't move your face. If you're not having anything too intricate for your wedding day then this can be a great time to organise your wedding make up and hair trial, obviously if you are planning a very detailed and styled up do and we are planning on hiking up the hills for your engagement shoot then this combination probably won't work...

And that's it. Remember embrace your style, be comfortable and do what you need to do to feel the best you can. I've pulled together a few boards here with some ideas on styles and clothing - causal, prints, accessories and dresses. All clothes are from (my favourite shops to be honest)

Zara

Free People

Gap

Passenger

Fatface


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© 2012 Captured by Katrina Photography | Katrina Bartlam | Natural and Relaxed wedding & Portrait Photography Gloucestershire

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